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Aug 23, 2021

This Episode is sponsored by Wachter.

Welcome to episode 35 of Fire Code Tech! On this episode we have Vishal Kashyap a career professional in fire alarm systems for more than a decade. In this episode we talk about how to learn about fire alarm systems and tips for those who would like to advance their knowledge on the subject. We also talk about Vishal’s fire book club which goes over a variety of fire protection topics on a weekly basis.

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Would you speak about how you got started in fire and life safety?

What is your project work background with fire alarm systems?

Would you speak about what is the fire alarm book club?

What kind of professionals attend the book club?

How did you find the inspiration for the book club?

What resources would you recommend to those who would like to learn more about fire alarm systems?



Hello, all welcome to the show. I'm Gus Gagliardi, and this is fire code tech on fire code tech. We interview fire protection professionals from all different careers and backgrounds in order to provide insight and a resource for those in the field. My goal is to help you become a more informed fire protection.

Professional fire code tech has interviews with engineers and researchers, fire marshals, and insurance professionals, and highlights topics like codes and standards, engineering systems, professional development, and trending topics in the industry. So if you're someone who wants to know more about fire protection or the fascinating stories of those who are in the field, you're in the right place.

Hello, all welcome to episode 35 of fire code tech. On this episode, we have Michelle cashier. This episode is sponsored by WAER, but more from our sponsor a little bit later on in this episode, on this episode, we're diving deep into some fire alarm topics. Also, you can hear a first hand account of Al's fire look club, where he goes through NFPA standards on a week by week basis in bite size chunks and discusses it with a group of fellow professionals.

If you're interested in new ways that you can learn about fire alarms and online content for fire protection, you're gonna love this episode. Foral has over a decade of experience in fire alarms, special hazards and security and CCTV design. We also break into some of his project work, which includes new and existing construction in a variety of different buildings.

Don't forget to subscribe. So you never miss an episode and follow us on social media Owen. If you'd be so inclined, please give us a five star review on apple podcasts. It really helps out the show analytics. Well, hello, haw. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast. How's it going? That's going fine.

Thank you for guys, for having me. And I've been a huge fan of, uh, your, uh, podcast while driving to the office, or maybe just, uh, in and out of the office. I do hear to your, uh, podcast and your pump podcast is the one that I admire the most. Oh, wow. Thanks. I appreciate that. That means a lot. It always is, uh, interesting when I speak to somebody who's had any experience listening to the podcast.

Um, it's always nice to hear. Well, I wanted to get started in traditional fashion and, you know, ask you about how you found your way into, into fire and life's safety haw. I didn't know if you would mind, um, speaking about that. Yeah, sure. Uh, I started off my career as, um, do I'm an electronics and telecom engineer.

I started off my career as a computer instructor. This is 2001 I'm talking about, uh, at that time teaching computers and knowing computers used to be big, still is still, it is to some extent, but into the level of AI and ML and, uh, and whatnot. There are a lot of things out there. And, um, gradually I came into software industry.

I started developing softwares. Uh, we got to work in, uh, my company got to work in a, a project that was world bank, uh, initiated and funded. And, uh, that project also got, um, it was a privilege to leading that team in the, in the first place. And that project got national geographic, uh, innovator of the year, 2004 award as well.

Um, this was from, uh, some 2000, uh, some 2000 and, uh, to 5,000 entries that came all across India. And, uh, then there was a final battle, I would say and, uh, in new Delhi, the capital of India wherein, uh, we, all the content send came and we showcased our product. What we have done, what is the innovation that they have done.

And there is when we, uh, caught this award, uh, it was in 2004. Then I moved down to travel industry, uh, completely, uh, 360 degree you can say. And, uh, then after travel industry, I came to the controls industry when I joined Honeywell. It's there in, uh, where I came to the industry of electronic safety and security.

I was handling, uh, DM co panels, the Vista panels. If you may recall those, uh, the old ones, classic ones, they're still out there and they're very St. Fire and Bo panels. Uh, so that's, that's wherein, uh, I came into the fire and Bo panels, and then as I say, it's, uh, it's all history. Uh, I, I discovered, uh, or I got, I thought that I got my groove.

I should be going into, uh, this is the industry that I want to do. This is what I want to do. It's a good blend of, uh, software as well as codes. When I can say codes. I mean to say, uh, you have a structural way of designing something. Um, and it's a, you have a, everyone has the same ground to design. Okay, you, you might, there are many ways to do a design when it comes to, as far as an access control system is concerned, but when it comes to fire, you, you, there are building codes, uh, wherein, uh, you need to strictly follow.

So that is where I, I, I transitioned into Qatar and, um, since then I run about 2000 and, uh, uh, nine since then I've been in Qatar in, in the fire industry. Wow. That's incredible. I like hearing about, uh, your background and, you know, some of the different roles you've held. And it's interesting to me, the crossover between I've spoke with a couple fire alarm professionals now with the sort of, uh, software background and kind of, I guess it makes, uh, logic logical sense because, uh, all fire alarm is, is a very specialized, uh, small computer for fire and life safety, but.

Um, I suppose it's a interesting, uh, parallel between the two career paths, uh, that I talked to a couple people. Transition. It is like that because, uh, uh, there was, um, ASIS is one of the agency out there with, they have actually already predicted this way before that the physical security, the building built environment security and the fire detection industry, plus your structured cabling, uh, where in all data goes around in the building, uh, would be merging together.

I mean, it's taking time to do that. And if you see the, uh, N FP 72 code, uh, the 2022 addition just to around the corner is gonna be releasing next one or two months, uh, cyber security has, uh, come into it. So it's making its, uh, the software industry of all that matter, the computer programming and those, those mindsets, and those thought process is making, uh, inroad towards, uh, fire alarm as well.

Uh, um, class N is one of the other, other example wherein, uh, networking in, in the fire industry is being taken seriously as well. Yeah, I think that's a great point. I've seen a huge push in cybersecurity and fire protection. Um, and I guess it makes a lot of sense with all the integrated systems that have been a big push to integrate your building automation system, integrate your, um, just everything you could imagine with the internet of things that yeah.

There are liabilities associated with it. So sure. Think that's a great point. There's a, it's a big, big push in the industry right now. Um, some, some of the federal jobs I work on, I've seen, uh, the productions of, of new standards just to, um, accommodate this cybersecurity, uh, push. Um, you know, for how were the passwords handled?

You know, how many people have access. Yes. Uh, that sort of thing, just, um, across the board. So it's, it's new for me. Uh, I think it's interesting though. So you spoke a little bit about the, a couple of the different, uh, fire alarm roles that you had, but I wonder if you would speak a little bit, uh, more specifically on, uh, some of the different project work that you have done in fire alarms, so people can get a better sense of your, uh, specialty in the, in fire and life safety.

Uh, as far as fire alarms concerned, uh, the biggest one, uh, I would say it was just, uh, right into my first year of the, uh, getting onboard to my current employer. Uh, it was, um, for an industrial project. And, um, they had roughly 40 to 50 panel spread across, uh, a huge area and, uh, handling, um, again, I say a fire alarm system as a BMS that is a building management system of all the fire, uh, safety equipment, because they all kind of are report into it.

Uh, you have, uh, sprinklers, uh, water flowing. It reports into the fire alarm. You have, uh, clean agent releasing it reports into the fire alarm. So it's like a building management system for, for your fire alarm. In, in other words, pumps running, they also report. So, uh, that's the one wherein it was, uh, a good blend of, uh, visa systems as well.

Uh, aspirating smoke detection as well. And, uh, this is year 2010. And that time, uh, visa. As far as an FPA is concerned, uh, they used to treat it as, uh, a spot detector, each sampling point they still do. Uh, and, uh, it's only that very recently in the last two iteration, I think they have, uh, started talking about the travel time of the smoke from the last, uh, sampling point.

So, so there were challenges at that time and we used a mix of, uh, EAN codes at that time because the EAN code were much more, uh, I would say matured in, in, in terms of Western systems. Uh, they had very clear classifications, uh, if you're doing a localized, uh, detection, or if you're doing, uh, a detection, um, wherein, uh, you are just running a sampling point to the grid of the return grill, uh, detect, um, duct of your, uh, protected room.

Um, that is one, that's an industrial product project. Uh, we, we had easily, uh, 20 through 30 panels that I can just recall from that picture is I can still vividly remember the, uh, the graphic and ener of my head. I can see 22 panels just right there easily, uh, might be more as well, but I can't remember those, uh, at the moment.

And we, it was a huge campus and all those were being brought into a small room, uh, controlled station room. Uh, it was a proprietary system, uh, wherein all the panels were reporting in, um, very good, uh, very sturdy product that we were using. And, um, it was a, a, a greater learning experience as far as, uh, detecting the Hazars are concerned.

Uh, at times you had to go out of the code and, um, just use from this scratch, what would be the fire signature, if there's a. And then go out and search for the, uh, right type of, uh, detection. Uh, that's one and second is in, uh, from around about 55, uh, buildings, uh, of it's a gated community. Uh, we are in, uh, we have roughly some 8,000 devices, uh, detection, devices, and all these panels are, of course they, they, that it's a retrofit.

I would say that was not from the scratch. The industrial project was, uh, from the, um, from completely from scratch. So that's the, the kind of anonymity I've been involved into and, and not only that at the it's for or not, because being in, um, in the electrical division, I've done, uh, the other, uh, projects as well, uh, systems as well, like access control and CCTV, uh, were also a part of the industrial project.

So, um, that's with, uh, that's um, that's us. We used to help out with the reation of the, uh, the design doing load calculations to make sure just like the pumps. We need to make sure that, uh, uh, when it comes to pumps where we want to make sure that the flow and the, uh, pressure is there to the last point, same way we wanna make sure that the voltage and the current is sufficient enough at the last detector.

So, uh, that's that's the, um, and, and after that, there have been many, uh, projects, which, um, which have been like 40 floors, uh, Highrise buildings. You may say commercial buildings, some of them have been in, um, the rail industry as well. So mix and match of all the industries. Um, that's that's that's me. I see.

Wow. That's a, those are some big projects you were talking about. But I, I know what you're saying about being able to see the graphic Notator in your head. When you have a project that's, uh, very big and, and complex, it leaves an indelible mark on a, on a person. Yeah. You know, how much time and energy that takes out of you to be a part of a project that big, it definitely takes some life force out of you and leaves a permanent imprint.

So I know how that feels. Yeah. But though the, though the vivid image that I was having was black and white. I don't know why should be, color's funny. That's funny. I like that. No. Uh, that's awesome that you've had a wide range of wide array of experience and ranging from new construction and existing construction and, uh, kind of retrofit, but retrofit as well.

They come, they come with a lot of different challenges and it sounds like, uh, not just fire alarm, but also. CCTV and security and some other, uh, uh, low voltage systems or, um, just general, uh, electrical, uh, uh, design, electrical insecurity design. So, yes, yes. And not only that, even in clean agent systems I've been involved, but, uh, since we are talking fire alarm, I will keep myself through that.

No, uh, uh, all the clean in and suppression is good stuff too. And yeah, I like what you're saying about the Vesta. I'm a big fan of Veda. If the owner can stomach the, the sticker price. Um, I think it's a great option. Smoke detection. Yes. Yes. I would add onto it guys. I, I, I have the same feeling. Uh, I, I feel that this is one of the device, which is being underutilized in the industry, uh, just because, uh, people are.

Uh, just because there is, there is, uh, an impression in the industry that all the end user, that it is very sensitive and you're gonna have, uh, enormous, enormous nuisance alarms, uh, of false alarms, uh, for that matter, uh, days have gone for wisdom that those days are gone already. Now, there, there are visitor systems.

I know if you, if you've come across or not, but there is a visitor system from one of the mix out there. They have addressable pipes, just imagine. Wow. I mean, there used to be zones, network, uh, pipes zones of your, uh, uh, your turning mm pipes. Now the, these are small pipes, tubes, pipes, and they, they go into the field and, uh, they, they give you an addressable, uh, detection.

And the beauty of it is it's easy to maintain because you. Uh, have to look at the box at the end of the network, which is the detector, because it, what it does is it literally sucks the error of the hole and, uh, protected premises. So you just have to maintain that box and your tests are easy. Uh, if you're using, um, the non-ad addressable type wherein, uh, let's say you have a two zone, one, uh, two zone, uh, detector.

So you have one network going in, uh, one pipe, another network going in one pipe, you just had the end of the, uh, room. You can just need to drop a pipe and have a small hole into it. Have your testation makes life so easy. Your installation is also fast and retrofit areas. You can put these devices, uh, very quickly.

because you don't need any special supports for it, unless, unless, unless UN until, unless you have to do some kind of, uh, um, aesthetic, uh, beautification of it until, unless it's up in the, uh, the fall ceiling area, the ceiling void Orlen area, it's, it's easy to run. The, uh, the pipe retrofit also is okay then, uh, as far as your explosion proof, uh, areas are concerned.

You, you can simply put your, one of these in there and, uh, the detector outside in the safe area. How, how cool is that? And you eliminate all those ax requirement and you eliminate, uh, explosion proof requirement. How cool is that? It sounds like a good option and good points to know about VESA. Yeah, I'm a big fan.

I think that it definitely is a nice tool for. I always recommend for, uh, high value assets and people who are looking to step up their protection. Um, I would suggest Aveda, uh, uh, long before. Uh, I would suggest some, uh, more complicated and unreliable systems, but, but, so I think it's a great option, um, for people to know about, I wanted to speak with you about the fire alarm book club.

Bashal would you tell the listeners about what you've been doing and what is the fire alarm book club? Want to take a moment to talk about our sponsor today. Ter Waner is a family owned business to provide services in many commercial and industrial market sectors, including electrical and fire alarm systems, the internet of things, digital transformation, and much, much more LTER is headquartered out of Lenexa, Kansas, but is decentralized in that they have technicians across the nation.

They're looking for good candidates for fire alarm technicians in a variety of locations across the us. You can find out the details of these jobs and much more about wa on That's w a C HT E Let's get back to the show. Uh, this is a book club that we, uh, the idea behind is, uh, the core idea behind it is that we have, uh, we are working professionals and, uh, to some extent we need to refer and re refer the books.

The codes that we, we is like a bread and butter for us. And, uh, being a wo working professional and handling your, uh, other responsibilities, it becomes at times, uh, to daunting of a task, to sit, make sittings and committing for reading the code or refreshing the code for yourself. So the idea was that how about just take out 30 minutes a week?

Uh, and the pandemic was going on at that time. Uh, people were doing a lot of webinars. Um, so its strike me. Okay. Why, why not? We do, we do this and there were other colleagues of mine also. They said, yeah, we, we, we should do something like this. Uh, it, it makes, uh, lot of, uh, value add to people and 30 minutes is something in a week.

Uh, it's easy to take out rather than taking 30 minutes, uh, uh, uh, every day let's say, uh, for this kind of commitment. So there is we, we, we started and we, um, we formed the book club, uh, and we, the moment we formed the book club, we made sure that we have a mission vision and our values straightforward written so that tomorrow God willing down the line seven months, eight month, 10 months, it's only seven months.

Now we want to look back and see why we started this. So we don't forget it. So one of the mission, I, and I will read that out for you. Uh, the mission is to construe the code or the standard from various standpoint, reflect and learn in bite size during virtual life sessions. So we, we are committing ourselves to do in bite sizes, 30 minutes.

Uh, at this very moment, uh, our, uh, our choice of code is an FP 72, 2019 edition. We have already reached, uh, chapter number 14 and, um, I would be glad to sharing with you. I'm very happy to share it with you. And I feel proud when I say that, that my book club members, the, the cohort that we have, we have, uh, few of our, uh, members, attending members.

They have already sat for the CFA I TMS exam, uh, and, uh, they have treated the exam as well, and they have aced the exam. So that become, that gives the reation of the thought process that, uh, here is what we, we are doing. We will do. Little by little small basketball, we will discuss with each other, the, the code, uh, and the vision is to scale hundred participants in their code of choice with the investment of 30 minutes, weekly, uh, sharing, uh, off fear of unknown, uh, brainstorming and shared thoughts.

So that's what we, uh, uh, that is our vision. And the values that we set for ourself is be the cohort of individuals who nurture the practice of fire safety. So that's very important that we nurture the practice of fire safety and are willing to give back to the community. So we are giving back to the community also with, with the, this is one of the, uh, values, the most valuable commodity that is a knowledge, uh, with no monetary expectations.

So we don't expect any monetary expectations. We don't expect you to, uh, spend money on it. It's fine by us. Uh, the, the only thing is we, we are sharing knowledge and, and what we believe is when it comes to safety, uh, this knowledge should be easily and readily available, uh, which, um, there are, I know, initiatives out there in the, uh, in the industry, uh, are trying to do that as well.

That's my small contribution, uh, to the industry and the, and the fire safety community. Uh, we very recently have, uh, started polling. So what we do is we, we, uh, choose a slot. We were doing, uh, the, the voting for, uh, the CFPs, uh, after every session, every session of week weekly session, what we do is we, we send out, uh, uh, uh, feedback form.

We need advice from our members because they, they are one of the key, uh, part of the, the whole process. And they chose the next code or next book to be the CFPs book. And, um, that is what we have chosen. and the avoiding is ongoing. It's out there on my LinkedIn page. Uh, people listening to this, they, they're more than welcome to, to drop by my page.

And, uh, most probably, I don't know. Cause if we can put a link at your, uh, uh, at, uh, the, um, uh, in the podcast also, I don't know. Uh, so we can put there and word for, yeah. Thank you. So word for the slot that is suitable for you? Uh, I think it would be, uh, suitable for the audience. I mean, we, we are learning the book that is written in us, but again, it's, it's a small, uh, effort from our side and we are trying to, um, get back to the community.

That's incredible. Yeah. I love hearing about that vial that I found out about you through the fire alarm book club and that you were, uh, you know, going through NFPS 72. I find that it is, uh, fire alarm systems to me, for some reason are a lot harder than sprinklers, even though they work on similar principles, like you were saying before, you know, as far as, uh, voltage drop and pressure drop and current and flow.

But, uh, I think that the technology surrounding fire alarms are, uh, just constantly changing and extremely proprietary. And so, yes, I, I'm always looking for good resources to try and figure out how to, uh, navigate codes and standards better and learn more about fire alarm systems. So I was really excited when I found out that you were going through NFPA 72.

And really kind of like having a discussion about it, not just like, yeah, lecturing, you providing a community, building a community where people could talk and, and discuss codes and, and really kind of band together for the, for the pursuit of professional development. So, yeah. Um, I was really excited to see that you were, you know, starting something that I I'd never seen anything like that before for, uh, fire and line safety, you know, like, uh, kind of grassroots movement for, uh, community, um, of like minded professionals, um, going through the code books.

So I think that's a really a novel idea in, uh, something that I think is great. Thank you. Um, our LA over here, we, we have, uh, the, our audience, uh, they join in from as far as Malaysia. Uh, we get audience from South Africa. Saudi Qatar. Of course we have. From there, we have people coming in from Kuwait as well.

And a major chunk is also coming from India as well. So we have quite, um, uh, from, uh, quite a diverse location joining in, I, I believe that, uh, 2000 hours, uh, Qatar time that is, um, around about, I think it is, uh, 1700 hours GMT, uh, is suitable for all the time zones on a Friday. That's the reason I do the vote.

yeah. Yeah. I think that's around noon, uh, central standard time. Yeah. Uh, for, so that works in, it worked out nicely. I think, I, I can't remember. I believe I've been to at least one of your, of your sessions. I know I've watched clip. And I enjoyed the, the posts on social media as well. So, yeah. Um, yeah. So where can people, where can people find out about, uh, fire alarm book club, if they, if they want to join in or learn more about it?

Mm-hmm, , uh, they can, uh, we have, uh, a WhatsApp group and, uh, I don't have a webpage or anything so that, but you can always come out to LinkedIn slash I N slash M ne that's spelled as alpha Mike, November, echo, Oscar. Uh, you can come in there, maybe just, you give me a require connection request. Uh, most probably the first two posts would be, or first three post, uh, featured post would be, uh, of the book lab only.

And that gives me pointer here, guys. It's it's in my tool list. I need to put a link on, on maybe on my webpage so that anybody can join in. Thank you for reminding me that. Yeah. Oh yeah, no problem. Yeah, no problem. I just want people to be able to find it and I'll be sure to throw some notes, uh, for your LinkedIn and, and the book club and the show notes for this episode.

But yeah, so, so, uh, what, uh, what other standards have you thought about covering? I know that, um, you're covering 72 now and that you're working on. Getting these episodes also posted to, to YouTube so that people can view these, not just at the time of the book club, but also they can tune in, um, whenever they get a chance to, to learn about some fire alarm or other fire and life safety, um, topics.

But, uh, yeah. What are your, what are your ideas for the future? Uh, so far, uh, we, it's all driven through our members and, uh, the YouTube was, uh, one of the big, uh, demand from our, uh, members. And they said, uh, at times, um, and I click me as well at times. They say we are not able to attend, uh, because X was a reason fine.

And they wanted to go back and refer the, uh, the code on, uh, the recording. Uh, that's the reason I came up, uh, very recently we, I came up with my, uh, YouTube channel as well, wherein, uh, I am. Uh, posting all the previous recordings and, uh, how you progress through each iteration of the episodes. Uh, you would see how the quality of the, uh, uh, the people joining in and how they respond and how, how we interact with each other.

And many good ideas came, uh, comes out of that, uh, how we interact and, uh, comes through, uh, the challenge. So that's, that's the immediate thing. And, uh, we, like I said earlier, we, we do a feedback after each session of ours, uh, to our WhatsApp group, um, to the people in us. If, uh, WhatsApp is one of, uh, something like, uh, your iPhone chat, uh, something similar to that, uh, you can install on your, um, uh, on your Android and, uh, for that matter in now on iPhone as well, and it, it maps to your telephone number.

And, uh, you can have, uh, telegram, I believe gust had get telegram is good to go in, uh, us, I'm not sure. Sure. I'm not sure. I'm not sure. I know that WhatsApp is available, but I've never used telegram. I think WhatsApp is a, is a fairly common one, especially for students in the us. I'm pretty sure that it's, uh, that students use it for group projects and stuff all the time.

Yeah. So that's, that's what we, we stuck to. And if you feel like reaching out to the recordings and maybe give a feedback and how we can even better ourself, it's a tiny So tiny Try new URL is one book club. That's the, uh, the YouTube, uh, channel and we are getting, um, subscribers every one or every day, roughly.

More than, uh, but, but the it's, the idea began behind. Again, I need to keep myself from, I keep myself reminding is that, uh, I'm looking for those a hundred individuals in my mission statement, uh, sorry. My vision statement who get benefit out of it. So let's say if one of the, uh, fi technicians are, uh, any fire practitioner, they go out there in the field and they're able to answer a question or tackle a problem in the field just because they were present in that book club.

Uh, we will feel that, uh, we have achieved, uh, our goal, our, our vision. We, we, that's what we want to do. That is, uh, what we are trying to do here. We are trying to empower each, each other. That's, uh, I think that's much better, much more so going forward. Um, um, I come back to my feedback. So we take the feedback from our, uh, members.

And, um, they have, uh, at this very moment, they won't CFPs. So most probably by the second, uh, week of, uh, or the early Jan, sorry, early September, we gonna launch our CFPs book, uh, the book club as well, maybe on a different time, uh, time as the trends are going on. Hopefully it's gonna be at, uh, some, uh, six, no, no, no, no.

$8,000. Uh, Kahar time. That is GMT plus three. Um, and it would be, um, the next is N FPA 1 0 1. So if I see it clearly the way it's gonna go for, uh, CFPs sometime April, next year, we are gonna do, uh, an FPA 1 0 1. I know it long times, but that's the resources I have. I , that's what I can commit of myself. Yeah.

And we, we are trying to do in bite sizes. We, we are not trying to rush those, uh, training sessions that comes from, um, I don't wanna take any names, uh, that comes from various institutions or institutions that do it, uh, that you sit in for three days, cram up all the things. And on the fourth day, you go and give up your, give your exam.

That's not the idea here. It's slowly building up. So you go through the, uh, code page by page, uh, line by line and understand that line from various perspective that, um, build upon your knowledge. So that's, that's what we are trying to do slowly. That's great for sure. I think that a lot of people out there that are looking to buff up on just general knowledge, I mean, the CFPs is really broad in its application.

And, um, that kind of brings me to my next question, which is like, uh, what kind of professions are you seeing people, um, come to the book club? You know, are they mostly in the fire alarm industry or did they work for other industries like insurance or construction or what kind of different, uh, individuals are you seeing?

Where are they working at? I would say that now, I, I was just reflecting on it a couple of days ago, uh, though the, uh, we don't have any kind of, uh, what's say profiling done because it's, it's you drop in within, uh, pseudonym in the, uh, on the zoom session and you leave, uh, But, uh, when I look at the questions, the type of questions from there, what I can drive and the feedback that I get, what I drive is, uh, generally the, the industry from, uh, India is, uh, most of the people are from, um, insurance.

That's a bigger chunk, uh, as, as far as the middle east concerned, it's a mix and match of consultants and contractors. Um, and, uh, and that's, that's the in South Africa, we have couple of, uh, people as well in Malaysia. Also, they, they are in, um, they're also contractors. No, no, no. One of them is, is a student actually.

And the other one, uh, is, is a contractor themselves. So this is the, uh, We don't, uh, have any, uh, name saved or anything it's, it's out there in, on zoom. People come in, they use a pseudonym. We do a quiz also in our, uh, session earlier, we used to do a reactive quiz like, uh, next, uh, if we have studied something today, uh, we will, uh, give it, give out a quiz midweek, and, uh, then we will discuss the answers in the next session.

But what we have done is now we have changed ourself and we are doing it live. It makes people more engaging and people enjoy, and we are able to, uh, discuss, uh, sometimes the, the, the word selection in the question is not right. Uh, and we discuss the question also, if the question is not right, so we try to make the question right as well, and we agree onto the, uh, the answer.

So, uh, that's the, the whole overall, uh, how the industry that is getting engaged. I see, I see. That makes sense. So you spoke a little bit about, you know, the origin of the book club, but, uh, and just with the pandemic and, and needing, you know, kind of a different professional avenue to gain experience in a regular basis.

That's not that too much of a burden, but, you know, how did you come to the idea of this, uh, in the, in the form that it has taken as the, as the book club? It's it seems like a very unique thing to me. Um, did you have any, have you been in any, uh, fit, like regular book clubs, and this is what kind of brought you to the idea?

Or I guess I'm still just kind of fascinated to, to how you got. This point and, um, you know, uh, we, yeah, how you got to this point for the, for the idea of fire and life safety in, in the book club to read the code out loud and try to understand it better with the group. I don't know how it came, but it, it strike to me that we need to do something similar that we're, I think I take the, uh, I can draw paddles.

When I say that when I used to, at times I used to go to coffee shops and sit down and read a book, not, not necessarily being an education book, maybe a, a novel or, or any self-help book or something like that. And, uh, I, I saw some students starting to over there. And, um, now this is pre. And then when I got this urge of, you know, sitting together, I wish I had more friends of mine who can do this, and my colleagues can do this then.

And, and this, there was this whole barrage of, uh, webinars and seminars, and I was also giving webinars out. I, I took, uh, some webinars for SF P chapter of Qatar at that time. And, uh, webinar for, uh, F S a I that's, um, similar to S F P of, of, uh, S F P as well. Uh, and, uh, then it came to me. So it, it just happened.

It's like, aha moment. Okay. Now, if we want to do this, this is the only way to do it at this very moment. So let's, uh, start going out and let's start pulling, uh, people, uh, And, uh, then there was this, another, uh, book club that I was, it was not a book club, actually. It was a study group that we were doing.

It was from, um, getting things done. Uh, I'm not sure if you've heard that getting done from, uh, it's one of the way of, uh, I'm, I'm one of the fan of that as well. And I was attending one of those, uh, sessions as well. It was, uh, and we were discussing the, uh, the book written, uh, C just one moment. Let, just look up, I keep forgetting his name.

David Allen, David Allen. You right. David Allen. Thank you very much. I just Googled it. Yeah. so, uh, for my office in, in my in-house work, uh, because I'm, um, managing a team, which is, uh, not only in Qatar, I'm managing a team, which. Has an extended office somewhere in India. So to manage their work, I, I, I was a big fan of, uh, getting things done.

Uh, I made a cross of the, these, uh, thought process or the getting your work done, uh, practices and the queuing queue system of, uh, the telecom industry and made a software on it so that I can handle, uh, multiple project, multiple systems, uh, and, uh, multiple people. And everyone are well informed what you need to do, and you need to do how much you need to do, uh, those kind of stuff.

So, uh, and I came across this group over a weekend and, um, and we started, uh, started studying every Saturday, I believe. Yeah, every Saturday. So maybe this gave an, uh, impetus at that time, or it just, again, Was an aha moment. And I said, yeah, this is how I can also do it. So Veronica is the name, uh, a shout out to her as well.

Um, she is, um, she's doing similar thing perhaps, um, for the GD world and she's building, uh, good product out there. Uh, some self-driven cars kind of projects as well. So shout out to her as well. So she was one of the, uh, I, I can say inspiration for me to come across this one. Awesome. That's cool. Well, I wanted to ask you Al since you have, uh, such a, a knack for, uh, trying to, to help others and, and find professional resources and kind of lift others up in the community, what kind of, uh, fire alarm online resources would you.

Recommend to those who are looking to, um, learn more and kind of, uh, uh, maybe, uh, sharpen their skills and, and fire alarm, uh, design and codes and standards. The best way to do is as far as us is concerned, I would say nicer is, um, is the best resource I, that, uh, books I wish I would had those 10 years ago, it was not available as they are available now.

Uh, uh, those books and, and the, I think they have now the, uh, because of the pandemic after they put their, uh, teachings as well, uh, they have on online sessions also going on. Uh, and so the best resources is stick to the professionals. Because you're building your base. Yes. It's a bit pricey. Save a bit because what happens is when, when you're trying to learn things out there, you get one gets, I would, I would not say you, one gets overwhelmed with the kind of information is out there.

You, you search for fire alarm or for that matter, any, uh, system on Google and you have, uh, so much of information out there, you get information overloaded. And then it happened with me as well. I started bookmarking all those things. And then by process of elimination, or this is not gonna help or fun one place, we start that, uh, things are going on, uh, to some extent.

And then all of a sudden that, uh, the information is not good enough. So in the beginning, as far as your basics are concern, it's better to stick to professionals like, um, N maybe now there are, uh, courses out there given out by, uh, professionals. Uh, try, uh, using their resources. Okay. And, um, NFP itself, of course, is one of the, the thing and SFP, I, I will, I will talk about SF P E as well.

They, they I'm in one of the, uh, committee as well to, for the course development. Uh, I'm a committee member for, for SF P as well. They are coming up with, uh, many courses, uh, online courses for, uh, for, for our industry. And, uh, it would be very economically prized as well. Um, that's what, what my belief is, the way they are taking themselves.

And, uh, as far as students are concerned that they have, uh, if a student has to start, I think nice is the best way to start it. They, they take you from, uh, the basics of your electronics, as far as, uh, your, um, fire industry, uh, suppression and your water based systems are concerned. I believe they should go for, um, uh, the, uh, plumbing and all, because at the end of the day, that's the, uh, that's the under the plumbing umbrella.

We have all these sufficient systems, correct me if I'm Ramas you, you, you're more worse on that part of, part of it. So yeah. That's yeah, so that's, that's my say on it, uh, go small, uh, take baby steps, get a basics, right. And then you can build on top of it. Um, and of course, if you can take a CFPs in one, go, nothing like it, otherwise break down the, uh, and, uh, break down the codes as per your liking and your, uh, bend of mind what you want to do and use those codes.

Yeah. That's the, the best way I would say. Yeah, I appreciate that. That exposition on the ni set books and resources. I've never had anybody, uh, refer those before, but I really like what you said about how people should, you know, rely on the very consistent professional resources to begin with. You know, there's so much information out there and so much of it is bad and it's really easy to get lost.

Like you were saying when you're early on in your profession, um, as much as I don't believe that you should, you know, rely on big organizations for all your information. I do think early on, it's a great place to start because you know, it's gonna be of quality. Um, because I can't tell you how many times I've read a white.

And Ren realized that it has nothing to do really with code required systems. They're just, uh, selling a product. Um, yeah. And, uh, and it's not of any benefit to somebody who wants to learn how to, um, determine when a system is required, determine how to install a system, determine the requirements for the installation of that system, you know?

Um, so I really like what you said about, um, starting from, uh, an organization that, um, helps certify individuals in these core competencies and how that is a great place to, to start. Yeah. I, I would, uh, um, I was so impressed with the, the curriculum of N uh, back in, uh, this is, so I'm talking 2004 or 2006, internet net was still.

DSL dial up in India. And, um, I, I took the courage of calling up nice office and a very fine lady picked up and I said, ma'am, I want to take this exam. She said, you need to come to us for that. I like, come on oh my gosh. Yeah. And I was like, what heck did I, at that time? I think primary test centers. I don't know if I can call those names in here.

Their test centers just begun their journey if I'm not wrong. Wow. So, and, uh, all these Microsoft exams were happening, uh, online for, at test centers. So I thought maybe they also have something like similar. Uh, but I don't, I don't think that they still have something similar for that. So I think NASA is a, is a very good place to.

Uh, for, um, to get your basics, right? Because once you have your basics, right, you, you can build on it, uh, more and more. And just to add on, uh, and maybe, uh, add on to the white papers, the two industries that are doing it at very, uh, are two type of systems that are doing at this very moment. And now all we're doing is, is the water based industry, uh, sorry, the water missed industry.

And the other one is the redox industry, correct? If correct me, if I'm wrong, you feel the same or not. I would just say that, uh, uh, as far as like the fire suppression side of things that I think N set has similar resources for fire or water based systems layout, um, is what it's called their, uh, certifications for, for, uh, layout.

And then, um, what you mentioned previously, some of the best fire and life safety courses I've ever had the opportunity to. Um, watcher from NFPA and their online resources, although they've just recently taken away their, uh, like membership to where you could get access to all the courses. Yeah. I was very, very disappointed when they did that.

Actually, they should keep it. I don't know why it's a bit pricey. Yes. But you have that, uh, library of your courses when you, you jump in whenever you want. Yeah. Now you have to think you have to budget yourself. Yeah. I know. I was, uh, I was sad as well. Um, you know, at those courses are good if you're learning, uh, strictly trying to learn the code.

I mean, they won't give you the practical application or the design as much, you know, I'm sure that's a liability thing and that they can't tell you how to design a build. Well, they'll give you all the steps to design a building, but they won't go over like. What construction, what construction documents will look like or what shop drawings will look like, or, uh, sure.

Some of the more minutia maybe of, uh, actually making, um, design documents or shop drawings, but, uh, they're excellent. Excellent courses for somebody who, um, doesn't know the fundamentals. Mm-hmm I think ISET fills in there. If I'm not wrong, you, you can tell me better. That's good to know. That's good to know.

I don't have as much, uh, information on the, the ISET stuff. I'd like to get some books now that you recommend them though, because I bet that I would like to learning some of the different, um, things that you've been talking about on the functional, uh, application of the shop drawings and whatnot. They probably do fill in a lot of the gaps, um, in that.

Since that's their area of expertise. Well, uh, Beal, I always, uh, like to end with, um, just like questions about professional development and we already kind of touched on our favorite some of our favorite resources, but, uh, yeah. What would you, uh, what advice would you recommend to professionals who are looking to, to better themselves?

I know it sounds like you like me have some interest in self-help and, you know, just kind of like this learning mentality. So, um, what would you tell, um, a professional who's looking, looking to better themselves, um, uh, uh, have, um, oh, it's, it's a huge responsibility to answer that actually , uh but humbly, I would say that our industry has been.

Um, I would say the, the grand has been blocked by the grandfathers of, uh, fire protection industries. They have been keeping all the information very close to their chest, uh, gone on those days. Uh, now I don't think so. We can do that anymore. The new generation is very knowledge hungry. They, they, they want to learn.

They want to learn quick. Okay. And, and, uh, they are not interested in maybe returning the information also that is also out there. Uh, so, so, uh, even with the, a very, uh, if you can, uh, if there are people out there who want to learn, I think one, one needs to diversify them into the computer. Part of it, maybe have some computer, uh, programming experience as well, because if you.

If you have to do a hydraulic calculation though, you're not programming, but you are a data entry guy. If you look it that way. And uh, if you're doing a battery calculation, again, you are a data entry guy. You need to know that logic, what, what is happening behind it? So to some extent, computers are taking over, uh, it's not a threat.

It's, it's a, it's gonna be a helpful thing for us and gone on those days of, uh, all the granddaddies who used to keep their, uh, their experience and their knowledge close to their chest. You need to give back to the industry, uh, and, uh, the organizations, um, out there also, you know, they need to spend some money on to, uh, give out back to the, the community.

And as far as the proportionals who want to better themselves, sharing is caring. It's an old saying till the time you don't, uh, share with your colleagues, People are sitting next to you in, in your office or, or next to your, um, next to house. Uh, all those old values are being revalidated and are being, uh, people are thinking about it again.

Uh, those things are very true, need to share with each other knowledge is the power going forward. Yeah. And of course the data, the data, if you, if you re, if you remember, there's a, um, an FPA for, um, that is under development, the N FPA code for, uh, the remote testing, I think 9 1 5. Yeah. That is under development.

It talks all about, uh, remote testing. So IOT I'm pretty sure would be used big time in it. Uh, your skills of how to shoot a video. It's gonna be, uh, uh, would be tested as well. How you record your, uh, programs. And I was looking at one of the presentations the other day. Uh, I was so impressed, uh, that one of the challenges that they have mentioned is upskilling the, the technicians who go out there and do this inspection to, to, to speed that up.

They have video tutorials of the same facility. So what it tells is, okay, press the button here. Okay. And you should see this. Okay. That's a checklist on your checklist for your inspection and testing. So he, he takes his checks to protect mark on the checklist. So that's the kind of thing where we are moving, uh, towards.

So keeping information to yourself and knowledge to yourself is not gonna. That is to the older generation of the fire industry, to the new generation, uh, keep the hunger up and keep sharing. I like that. I think those are all great points. Uh, yeah, you, you know what, I think that people who are involved with calculations, whether they be, uh, you know, no matter what calculations have to be aware of, uh, garbage in, garbage out, if you don't understand, um, the data that you're putting into your program and the equations in which your program is running, you're not gonna be able to produce, uh, results that are worth anything.

And so I think that's a great point and yeah, I mean, it's already hit, um, so many other industries, this, uh, push for sh sharing and just kind of lifting the rest of the industry up and, and lowering the barrier to entry. Um, I always think of, uh, the, the fire code tech episode with Kelsey, uh, lawnmower in which she said that if the, if what we're trying to achieve here is, is safer buildings.

Then we should be making it as easy as possible to get this information. And I am Al and I was so touched when she, uh, said that, and I always think of it in, um, the way that I have, uh, you know, when I get the chance to speak to people who are, um, doing, uh, you know, looking for bettering themselves or producing content in this space.

Um, so I think that's great. So, um, yeah, I think that's awesome, Al, well, I want to. I want to thank you so much for haw for coming on the podcast. It was an absolute pleasure. And we'll have to do it again, sir. Sure, sure. We need to, I, I, I mean, we need to do this exchange on the other end as well. Maybe we will do a, a recording of, um, of yourself, um, taking one of the CFPs classes.

I don't know if you can put this on record or not, but uh, . I, I think we need to, uh, we need to do that. Maybe the inaugural session that we are gonna do, maybe you can chime in for a, a couple of minutes, a recorded session or a live, whatever suits you, uh, would be, uh, would be great. Sounds fine. Sounds fun.

We'll get it set up. And, and, and I was reading another book, uh, the other day and, uh, wherein they, they mention and, uh, about the cohort learning that we are doing in, in our book club, it, it mentioned that going forward, uh, this teacher and, uh, pupil kind of, uh, relation the classroom, set up the pandemic has pushed that set up into a danger zone at the moment because kids are not going school.

I don't know in us, but in middle east and India, uh, the kids are not going to the school. They, they are learning from home. So what is happening is that this is already a threat. So as far as the professional, uh, professionals are concerned and especially the working professionals are concerned, they prefer a cohort kind of learning wherein there is one subject matter expert.

Okay. And he. Takes the whole, uh, he just he's the host over there and he is driving the conversation and let everyone open themselves up because what happens is in a, in a school environment as well in a classroom environment. Also me being a teacher, I, I knew this people have their guards up, they don't speak up for a number of reasons, but when you are in a virtual environment, you turn off your camera, you love that amount.

Anonymity, you use a pseudonym and you ask questions and you enjoy it. Yeah. Yeah. So this is one of the, this, yeah. So this is one of the, the, the, the way the learning is gonna go. And I, I only know an institution, a Vixa, uh, they've already done a trial, not on the so same end. They, uh, unconsciously, they did this trial.

And I was, uh, also taking those classes at that time and I really enjoyed it. There was one guy who was driving the whole conversation, and then we were asking, okay, if the voltage is here at Tony world, why not 20 volt? Why not 40 volt or something like that? These kind of questions we used to ask and it gave a lot of ity.

People put their guards down. Uh, they don't have this. Um, what do you call, uh, uh, a facade of, um, a facade, a made of facade in front of them. Yeah. That, uh, that we are this, they, they, they, they confide into the class very easily. Yeah. I think that a anybody in a technical role has the fear of being wrong or being judged for being wrong or not having the technical competency.

That is the currency of our, our trade. And so, yeah, I could see what you're saying about the being anonymous, uh, having big implications for people to ask questions and to, yeah. And to get answers, but that's great, Michelle. Well, awesome. It takes, it takes courage. It takes courage to ask questions that people think that, you know already.

Yeah. yeah. I think there's a huge strength in that is a, a very big strength. Yeah. But anyways. Alright. Alrighty. Thanks for listening. Everybody. Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious business. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a codes and standards interpretation.

Be sure to contact a licensed professional. If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life safety. Thanks again. And we'll see you next time.